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Flyers’ Top Scorer Returning; ‘Aggravated’ Sean Couturier Out for Season

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Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Right winger Travis Konecny will return to the lineup Saturday night against visiting Buffalo. Photo: AP.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ offense will get a boost Saturday night.

Travis Konecny, who hasn’t played since Feb. 20 but still leads the Flyers in goals (27) and points (54), will return to the lineup against visiting Buffalo.

The 26-year-old right winger has played in just 52 games this season because of injuries.

Konecny said the priority all along was to make sure he was 100% healthy. “We landed here, so it’s good,” he said.

Coach John Tortorella also announced that Sean Couturier will not play this season. Couturier, sidelined by two back surgeries, had hoped to play in a few games. Tortorella said the top-line center did not have any setbacks.

According to Tortorella, Couturier, 30, was “aggravated” by the Flyers’ medical team’s decision not to play him in some of the remaining games. “And I love it.”

He meant he appreciates the drive Couturier has to return to action.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” said Couturier, who hasn’t played in 15 months and has been working hard to return. “I almost feel like I let down the team. … I didn’t get too much of a say, to be honest.”

The Philadelphia Flyers don’t want to risk another injury.

Meanwhile, Hart will miss his third straight game because of a lower-body injury. Felix Sandstrom will make his third consecutive start, and Sam Ersson was recalled from the Phantoms and will serve as the backup.

Hart did some on-ice work before practice today in Voorhees.

Ersson was the Phantoms’ winning goaltender in Friday’s 4-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Bobby Brink had two goals, including an empty-netter, for Lehigh Valley. Tyson Foerster scored his 20th of the season.

Breakaways

Tortorella will again watch from press level, with associate coach Brad Shaw directing the team behind the bench. … The Flyers are 2-0 vs. the Sabres and will try to sweep the season series. … Fans are asked to get to their seats by 6:30 p.m. because of ceremonies honoring the retiring Steve Coates, their legendary broadcaster for 43 years. … Buffalo is five points behind Pittsburgh for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Sabres have a game in hand on the Penguins. … After tonight’s game, the Philadelphia Flyers start a four-game road trip Sunday evening in Pittsburgh. The trip will also take them to St. Louis, Dallas and the New York Islanders. … The Flyers’ award winners will be announced before their final home game, April 11 against Johnny Gaudreau and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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